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Karl August NIKULA

Obituary Condolences

NIKULA, Karl August

Karl August Nikula, age 91, of Atlantis, FL, peacefully passed away after a long illness on Monday, March 31, 2014. Karl had been a resident of Florida since 1977 moving here from Interlaken, NY. Karl was born on October 15, 1922 in Nivala, Finland. He emigrated from Finland to the United States in 1940 after the conclusion of the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union. He was conscripted into into the U.S. Army and served honorably during World War II for the 10th Mountain Division. Following the war, Karl joined the U.S. Merchant Marine and served with honor during and after the Korean Conflict. In 1955, he married his wife of 47 years, Helga Helena Nikula (nee Kuivalahti), in New York City and moved to Interlaken where they established the family farm that they operated together for many years. In addition to farming, Karl was a contractor and builder. He built many commercial and residential structures throughout the United States and always considered construction as his primary occupation. In 1977, Karl and Helga sold their farm and moved permanently to Florida first setting up residence in Lake Worth and later moving to Atlantis in 1991. Karl was extremely active in the Finnish-American communities of Lake Worth and Lantana, Florida. He was president of Finland House in Lantana for 17 years, and a member of the board of directors for 15 years of the Finnish-American Rest Home in Lake Worth. Karl worked diligently for many years for numerous domestic and international social organizations promoting Finnish culture, customs and beliefs. Karl's stalwart efforts in contributing to the growth and prosperity of Finnish causes in the United States were ultimately recognized by the former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari, who in 1993 awarded him with the Order of the White Rose of Finland Medal. In addition to the many Finnish-American social organizations, Karl was also a proud member of the Farmerville-Union Masonic Lodge, No. 183 of Interlaken as well as the Kalurah Shriners of Endicott, New York. Karl was genuinely proud of his Finnish birth but he was fiercely proud of his U.S. Citizenship and often told friends and relatives the United States was his one and only home; the best nation in the world which he had once defended, and would always defend, with his life. Karl was preceded by Helga on April 10, 2002 as well as by three sisters and five brothers. Survivors include his son, Larry E. Nikula of Atlantis, FL; brother, Veikko A. Nikula of Sunrise, FL and numerous nieces, nephews, friends and relatives in the United States and in Finland. Memorial services will be held at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church (928 South E. Street; Lake Worth, FL 33460) on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Palm Beach County or the Shriners Hospitals for Children in memory of Karl A. Nikula. Arrangements are by the All County Funeral Home & Crematory, Lake Worth, FL. Share a memory or condolence online at www.allcounty.com.

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Published in The Palm Beach Post from Apr. 3 to Apr. 4, 2014
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